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The importance of maintaining a HEALTY BMI


“Health is wealth” a very true statement. Research has shown that as weight increases to reach levels referred to as overweight and obesity, the risk for the following conditions also increases:


· Coronary heart diseases & Stroke


Coronary heart disease is defined as atherosclerosis ( hardening of arteries ) affecting coronary arteries.

Stroke is a condition where an artery in the brain burst and there is bleeding into the brain resulting in paralysis of one side of the body.

Overweight or obese people are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure and high cholesterol which are precursors for coronary heart disease and stroke. Weight loss may lower blood pressure and cholesterol thereby improving the way the heart works and blood flows


· Type 2 Diabetes


This is a condition where there is a high level of sugar in the blood. More than 80% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. This might be because the cells become less effective in utilizing sugar from the blood thus putting stress on cells that produce insulin. Losing weight can help control blood sugar.


· Cancers


This occurs when cells in one part of the body grow abnormally or out of control and possibly spread to other parts of the body. Overweight/obesity may increase the risk of developing certain cancers.


For Men:
Colon cancer
Rectal cancer
Prostate cancer

For Women:
Breast cancer
Uterine cancer
Ovarian cancer
Cervical cancer
Gallbladder cancer

Losing weight could help in preventing the development of cancers.


· High blood pressure/ hypertension


Blood pressure raises as body weight increases this is because more work will be done by the heart to pump blood to the whole body and the size of the heart is just the size of the fist. Being overweight increases the risk of developing high blood pressure Losing weight lowers blood pressure thereby reducing the work done by the heart.


· Dyslipidemia


A condition where there is abnormal amount of lipids[cholesterol] in the blood. The body needs some cholesterol to function properly but when the level is high, it may cause problems such as atherosclerosis which increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and heart attack. Losing weight can decrease cholesterol level by 10%


· Liver and Gallbladder Diseases


Fatty liver disease occurs when fat builds up in the liver cells causing injury and inflammation. This may lead to severe liver damage, liver cirrhosis[ build up of scar tissue that blocks proper blood flow in the liver ] and liver failure. Gallstones which are clusters of solid material made mostly of cholesterol that forms in the Gallbladder People with diabetes or pre-diabetes are more likely to have liver disease and people who are overweight are more likely to have diabetes.

Losing weight can help control blood sugar levels and also reduce the build up of fat in the liver and gallbladder.

· Sleep Apnea and respiratory problems


This is a sleep disorder characterized by interruptions of a person's breathing while asleep. The individual snores loudly and experience daytime sleepiness. Overweight/obese individual

· High blood pressure/ hypertension
· Dyslipidemia
· Liver and Gallbladder Diseases
· Sleep Apnea and respiratory problems may have more fat stored around the neck which can make the airway smaller
. Losing weight may reduce this.

· Gynecological problems


Weight gain may lead to abnormal menses and infertility. Women of reproductive age with high BMI have a higher risk of ovulatory problems and tend to respond poorly to fertility treatment. Obesity can aggravate symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse, stress urinary incontinence and increase the risk of endometrial polyps and symptomatic fibroids. Weight reduction increases fertility and reduces hormonal imbalance in women


· Arthritis


This is a condition where there is inflammation [swelling] of the joints. A joint is the point where two bones meet. The cartilage (covering of the bone ends) wears out and this allows the bone to rub against each other. Common symptoms include pain and limitation of movement in the affected joint(s). Extra weight may put more pressure on joints and cartilage especially the knees and ankles causing them to wear out. Weight reduction reduces stress on joints Body Mass Index[BMI] is an indirect measure of body fat in an individual and this is determined by using the person's weight and height. The BMI formula is weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. That is weight in kg/height in meters/height in meters E.g A person that weighs 68kg and is 1.65m will have a BMI of 68/1.65/1.65=24.98

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